Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease

move-it-or-lose-itIt is important for everyone to find some type of exercise regimen they enjoy doing and will stay with it because it does provide many health benefits. An exercise plan that is tolerable for those with Parkinson’s can actually help manage their symptoms. A good exercise plan really should include flexibility (stretching) exercises, aerobic activity, resistance training and strengthening exercises.

resistance-band-exercisesThe types of exercise a person can handle solely depends on the symptoms and challenges that person may experience. For a sedentary individual, simply getting up and moving around can be extremely beneficial. The more active a person is can allow them build up to regular vibrant activities by building up slowly and consistently. Various approaches work well to help maintain and improve mobility, flexibility, balance and ease non-motor Parkinson’s symptoms such as depression or constipation.

Honestly, Parkinson’s can be quite scary as progression of this disease can lead up to many physical challenges.

  • Loss in joint flexibility, which can affect balancestrenghening
  • Decreased muscle strength or deconditioning, which can affect walking and ability to stand up from a sitting position
  • Decline in cardiovascular conditioning, which affect endurance

Just a few helpful tips for those with Parkinson’s disease to get started with an exercise program:

  • Be safe! Safety is always the most important thing. Consult with your neurologist regarding concerns and to get their recommendations on exercises.
  • Work together with your doctor and support system to set certain target exercises. Structural exercises may include aerobic exercises, such a brisk walking and resistance training using weights and or bands.lower-back-strengthening-exercises
  • Purchase a pedometer, which is a step counter. Make a goal of the number of steps you want to take each day. Increase your steps weekly depending on your symptoms. Keeping steps written down on a calendar or a notebook will allow you to see your progression and give you something to be proud of!
  • Exercise indoors and outdoors. It is perfectly fine to change-up your routine to whatever your interests are and what keeps you motivated.
  • Choosing an exercise that is enjoyable is VERY IMPORTANT as it will hold your interest much longer! If you enjoy doing yard work in the spring, summer and fall, that is a wonderful source of activity. Or if you really enjoy riding a bike, you can do this at the local park, in your neighborhood or even have a stationary bike in the comfort of your own home.

Y’all already know that Parkinson’s Disease is something I care very deeply about because my step father has to battle this disease. I want to be able to do as much as I can to help him be able to live a comfortable life for as long as possible. Now, I already know he is not going to be very excited about my information regarding exercising because it is not something he really wants to do, but he does enjoy yard work very much. I know he does yard work because he wants their yard to always look beautiful and probably has no idea how much this will actually help him. If gardening and yard work is the only source of exercise he gets, I think it should always be encouraged!parkinson

I appreciate you visiting my site this morning! Your support and willingness to learn more about Parkinson’s Disease means so much to me. April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month and I wanted to raise as much awareness as I possible could! Y’all know that my post are normally in purple because that is my favorite color, but blue is the color for Parkinson’s, so that is why you see a change in color!  I really hope that someday there will be a cure for all those suffering with this disease. I hope you have a fantastic day! As always I am sending y’all lots of love and comfort!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

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Diet with Parkinson’s Disease

april awarenessIt can be so difficult for any of us to find the right diet for any condition we may live with, but it is important to at least try! Diets may contribute a great deal too how our bodies react to the foods we east, so it is best to do all we can to combat any issues!

A common medication used to treat Parkinson’s disease is Levodopa. Levodopa is a protein building block, so it competes for absorption with other proteins. Protein enriched meals reduces the effectiveness of absorbing Levodopa, so it is better to save meat, fish and cheese for dinner time. It is important to take this medication on an empty stomach with 4-5 oz. of water and at least 30 minutes prior to a meal, as this allows the drug to make it to the small intestines and be absorbed faster. However, a carbohydrate snack like crackers, toast or oatmeal can help prevent any nausea the medicine might cause. Iron supplements can decrease absorption of Levodopa, so should be taken separate from medications by at least two hours.

What is the best diet plan for someone with Parkinson’s? Isn’t that the question we all want to know for all illnesses? There really is not a specific diet for those living with Parkinson’s, but a well-balanced and nutritious diet can be very beneficial. A proper diet for anyone will allow our bodies to work more effectively and give us more energy, but a proper diet for those with Parkinson’s can allow their medication to work properly. I have found some good tips that may be helpful:

  • Eat a variety of foods from each good categoryFood Pyramind
  • Maintain healthy weight through a proper balance of diet and exercise. Discovering an exercise regimen that is well tolerated can be difficult, but starting off slow is the best way to start.
  • High-fiber foods such as vegetables, cooked dried beans and peas, whole grain foods, bran, cereals, pasta, rice and fresh fruit.
  • Low in saturated fat and cholesterol
  • Limit sugar intake
  • Moderate salt consumption
  • Drink eight oz. glasses of water daily

Ways to control Nausea

  • Drink clear or ice-cold drinks. Drinks containing sugar may calm stomachs better than other liquids
  • Avoid orange and grapefruit juices because they are very acidic and that can worsen the nausea
  • Drink beverages slowly
  • Eat light, bland food such as saltines or plain bread
  • Avoid fried, greasy or sweet foods
  • Eat slowly
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day
  • Do not mix hot and cold foods
  • Eat foods that are either cold or room temperature to avoid any nausea from the smell of foods
  • Rest after eating and keep head elevated
  • If nausea occurs when first awaking in the morning, eat some crackers before getting out of bed or eat a high protein snack before going to bed (lean meat or cheese)
  • If the techniques I have shared do not help the queasy stomach it may be a good idea to share this issue with your doctor and see if they have any other suggestions.

Foods that should be avoided:

  • Cured, fermented or air-dried meats or fish
  • Aged cheeses: Aged cheese, Swiss, Blue cheese and camembert
  • Fermented cabbage: Sauerkraut and kimchi
  • Soy Bean products which includes soy sauce
  • Red Wine and Tap beer

parkinson-imageAfter reading this please remember that I am not a medical professional, I am just wanting to learn as much as I can in order to help those are dealing with this illness. I want to be able to relay as much information to my step father to make his life a little easier as I possibly can! I want him to stay as healthy as possible for as long as he can and if there is something I can do to make this happen, I will!

Thank y’all for visiting my site today. I hope the information I have provided in this post is helpful to either yourself or someone who you know! Like I have said, I have done a lot of research through various web sites including: https://www.michaeljfox.org/understanding-parkinsons and https://www.medicinenet.com/parkinsons_disease_eating_right  Of course there is a lot more information out there, but those two sites have given me a lot of knowledge. I hope y’all are enjoying your weekend and please know how much I appreciate all of your comments! I will respond to all comments as quickly as I can and please if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask. Anything I do not know the answers to, I will find answers! Sending y’all lots of love and comfort always!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa

Early Parkinson’s Disease

parkinson ribbobParkinson’s disease was first discovered in 1817 in London by James Parkinson as a neurological syndrome. In the earlier years Parkinson’s was referred to as “Shaking Palsy”, in which James Parkinson wrote and published an essay about. As the years and research carried on, Parkinson’s disease was coined by William Sanders but then popularized by the same French Neurologist that founded Multiple Sclerosis, Jean Martin-Charcot.

There are numerous signs that a person may display before they are officially diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. No single one of these signs indicate Parkinson’s, but if more than one signs are showing it might be important to schedule an appointment with a doctor to be able to rule out Parkinson’s.

  1. Tremors while resting.
  • Slight shaking in finger, thumb or chin
  • Shaking can be normal after exercising and or stress. Shaking can occur with certain medications as well. Shaking should stop once you rest after exercising or calm down after being stressed. Shaking from medication should stop once the medication is discontinued.

2. Small Handwriting:

  • When writing letters have become much smaller than it was in the past and cramped together. This condition is referred to as Micrographia.
  • It can be normal for handwriting to change with age or if you have stiff hands or fingers or are dealing with other conditions such as arthritis.

3. Loss of smell:

  • Trouble smelling foods like bananas, dill pickles or licorice.parkinson
  • It is common for smell to change by a cold, flu or stuffy nose, but the smell will return to normal in when situations heal.

4. Trouble sleeping:

  • Thrashing around in bed or acting out dreams while deeply asleep or sudden movements during asleep.
  • We all have nights we toss and turn instead of sleep, but that is common because we do have good nights of sleep. Quick jerks of the body with initiation of sleep or when in a lighter sleep are common.

5. Trouble moving or walking:

  • Stiff feeling in body, arms or legs that does not go away. Your arms do not swing like they use to when walking. Stiffness or pain in shoulders and or hips.
  • It is normal to experience stiffness if there has been an injury to the arms or shoulder, but if there has not been any injury and the sensation does not go away, it is a good idea to speak to a doctor about these issues.

6. Constipation:

  • Straining to move your bowels is very unhealthy.
  • Not having enough water or fiber in your diet and certain medications can lead to constipation, so once you eliminate or correct those factors, the constipation should clear up.

7. Soft or low voice:

  • Significant and noticeable changes in the voice.
  • Chest colds and other viruses can alter the voice, but will go away and voice will return to normal once the illness is gone.

8. Masked Face: Serious, depressed or mad facial expression on face

9. Dizziness or Fainting:

  • Feeling dizzy or fainting regularly when stand up from chair.
  • Dizziness and fainting can be a sign of low blood pressure as well.

10. Stooping or hunching over when standing up and you used to be able to stand up straight.

Just like when I wrote about Multiple Sclerosis, I was pretty shocked on just how long this disease has been around for. I also found it pretty amazing that one of the Neurologists that was researching Parkinson’s Disease also did much research on Multiple Sclerosis. I fully understand that Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis are vastly different, but they are both Neurological issues that affect daily life, so maybe that is one reason I understand my step father as much as I do. When my husband and I are around him, I am very aware of any changes my step father is experiencing. As a strong nature man I know this disease bothers him because he is not able to do all the things he use to do. This man had a strong passion for model airplanes and loved flying them, but hope and cure parkinsonnow due to the shaking finds it difficult to fly the planes. It breaks my heart to see him suffer and I do hope that cure will be founded soon. Being a man that I love and respect, I will never stop being on his support team! There are way too many people around the world that suffer with this disease, but just like my step father they all keep fighting. I try to offer my step father encouraging words and lift his spirits as much as I can because he needs that extra support. I always tell him how well he is doing and that keeping up the battle against Parkinson’s might be difficult, but will pay off in the long run. Sadly, I can completely relate to how he feels fighting a battle that seems impossible, but giving up will never be an option for either of us!

I appreciate y’all visiting my site today and I would love to read your comments. Please stay tuned for more information regarding Parkinson’s Disease as my next post will be about the different symptoms a person may go through after they have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I have found that there are Primary and Secondary Symptoms Parkinson’s warriors may deal with.

I hope y’all have had a lovely and enjoyable weekend! It seems as though the weather is trying to be spring, but has a bad moment from time to time sending chilly weather our way. I hope the rest of your Sunday is relaxing as you prepare for another new week! As always, I am sending y’all lots of love and comfort!

Love 2

Always, Alyssa